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a sweater for me this time?

  • Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:40 am

first i need to start by saying that i haven’t knit a sweater for myself in over 30 years, and it’s probably been over 20 since i last knit one for a real person. that one was an purple acrylic sweater with a neon dinosaur on the front, for my then 4 year old son. he loved it, wore it constantly and it later was passed on to a nephew, who wore it till he couldn’t squeeze into either!

but i’m going to a wedding this summer and while i found the perfect skirt to wear – a gorgeous navy lace pencil skirt – i’m not having much luck so far finding a top that fits and coordinates. i’m picky. it has to be a knit, because woven’s just never fit right on me. it has to be dressy enough for a semi formal wedding, and yet look neither like something a teenager would wear, nor something my 70+year old mother would. i haven’t given up looking, but i have some gorgeous purpley/blue, silk/linen yarn from eatsleepknit and thought i would make an attempt, at least, to knit something myself. i have spent the last several weeks poring over patterns, but they were never quite right, so out of desperation i decided to just make my own. that is my standard mo anyway, so i’m surprised it took me this long to just go for it!

first i needed to know how many stitches i have to work with. so i need to swatch and figure out my stitch and row count. i have lots of circular needles in my stash, most from a chinese supplier. i love working with them, but the numbering is odd and i always have to use a needle sizer to figure out what they really are. ive seen this yarn stitched up on 3.5mm needles and quite liked the look of the fabric, but i only have 3.75mm and 3.25’s. i want a loose, drapey fabric so tried the larger ones first… no good… the fabric is too loose and gauze like. so i switched to the smaller ones, and that is much better.

now to pick the fancy stitches for the neckline and sleeves. i pored over my japanese stitch pattern books, looking at them upside down since i’m planning a top down sweater and finally found two i thought would work well. bonus they have the same stitch repeat, though they would need to be done offset so that may be tricky. i ripped out my original swatch and made a larger one to test the new stitches. i love how they turned out. finished off with some stockinette so i can get a stitch count for the body, then a rib for the bottom to control the curl. the rib looks bad, i’ll have to figure out another way to finish the edges, but the rest looks great so now i just have to wash and dry the swatch to get the finished gauge.

winning swatch unblocked

my first (and second) faceup part 4

  • Posted on May 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

now they have lashes and eyes.

ananda wigless
ananda has lovely new glass eyes.

ellyce wigless
ellyce has to wait for her new eyecolor. she was supposed to fit either 12mm or 14mm but the 14’s were much to big for the socket and i didn’t have another pair of 12’s, so they are now on order.

my first (and second) faceup part 3

  • Posted on May 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

the faceups continue, many layers of paint later the girls are done and waiting for the varnish to dry around the eyes so that they can get lashes, eyes and wigs.
i used mostly pastels to color them, rubbing the pastels on sandpaper to get my pallet then applying it with a variety of brushes and q-tips. the eyebrows were done with pastels and watercolor pencils and the lashes with thinned down acrylic paint.

here is ananda
ananda eyeless

and ellyce
ellyce eyeless 2

ellyce eyeless

i’m surprised at how different they look even though i used similar painting schemes and the sculpt is identical for both. ellyce’s shorter neck makes her face look chubbier.

my first faceup: part1

  • Posted on May 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm

my cans of mr superclear finally arrived – by sea all the way from  hong kong, no less –  so i’m ready to try my first face-up ever.  my first victim – er i mean subject – is my cousin ananda, a dollmore, narsha friend shabee. she’s been looking very pale and ghostlike ever since she came to live with us, and begged to be the first to get a facial.

in the spirit of true makeover articles, i will start with the before shots.   this will show what she looked for to start with.  i apologize in advance for the crummy lighting.  they were taken in the bedroom and the light through the curtains makes her look very greenish.  i assure you she is not normally green!

ananda pre-faceup here she is looking as she did when she first arrived.

ananda pre-faceup this is a closer look at her face.

even without makeup she is very cute!

ananda pre-faceup with her wig and eyes removed for protection from the first spray coat.  she will be getting a new hair color and changing her eye color as well, but that’s no reason to muck them up with spray 🙂

ananda pre-faceup another angle.

she is trying to be patient with all these photos but is really ready to start!

grafting woes

  • Posted on March 30, 2011 at 5:25 am

i got up early today and decided to try and finish my new hoody before i had to start work. all i had left was grafting the hood seam – no sweat i’d whip it up quick and on to blocking. after ripping back 3 times because i made a mistake and got it uneven, (a real pain when working with almost black yarn and 1.5mm stitches) i finally got to the end with about 3 inches of yarn left, barely enough to weave in.

finished! just one quick check before burying the end forever.

turning it right side out (those who know grafting can see where this is going) i saw to my dismay that in my inexperience grafting,  i had turned the sweater inside out like you do with most seam finishes,  and i now had a beautiful graft – with the seam on the outside…….

carefully, i unpicked it yet again. this time i came to the end with only one mishap – 8 stitches from the end my poor abused yarn broke and i had to splice a new piece on – but i persevered to the end, and this time got it right.

here is a picture of my hoody, not a great one but after all that i was out of time.  it is much lighter than the original so that you can see at least a bit of the stitch pattern.  once it is washed blocked and has the buttons sewn on, i’ll put up a better pic.

i think i’ll be very happy with this one and anticipate wearing it often.

lace hoody vest front